Luis Rojas has waited a long time to get his shot at managing the Mets, and he's now dealing with a delay to his first season that the game of baseball has "never seen before."
Rojas, hired by the Mets this offseason after the team and Carlos Beltran parted ways, recently spoke to Nathalie Alonso of MLB.com. On a call from Port St. Lucie, Rojas talked about the adjustments that he's needed to make on the fly as the coronavirus outbreak continues.
"Obviously, with what's going on with the virus, it's something we've never seen before, so we're swimming in unfamiliar waters as far as being able to anticipate what's going to happen in the future," Rojas told MLB.com. "But as far as adjusting and adapting, like we're all doing in our lives, I think [the baseball mentality] has helped us as a team."
While all major-league spring camps have officially been shut down, some players have elected to stay in their spring locales, while others have gone home, or even back to their team's home cities.
Rojas said that he and the coaching staff are staying in contact with players as much as they can, navigating the tricky situation of the team being spread out across the country, or even across the world.
"Everyone went where they needed to go depending on their respective responsibilities to their families. They're staying as active as possible to stay in the best possible shape depending on what they have available to them in terms of facilities. Yes, things have happened suddenly, but the game itself prepares you for changes.
"The communication goes both ways. The guys call me and text me. I text them, too. I try not to do it every day. The other coaches reach out, too. The communication has been really good."
Rojas has worked his way up through the Mets organization over the last 13 years, managing at just about every level, from the Gulf Coast League Mets, to Single-A Savannah, High-A St. Lucie, and Double-A Binghamton.
And now even though the 38-year-old is so close to his major-league managerial debut, he's more concerned with everyone else's safety than his own personal journey.
"I haven't paid much attention to what might be lost on a personal level," said Rojas. "I know at some point we're going to play baseball. At some point, I'll have my first game as manager. But this is not the time to let emotions get in the way. It's something we can't control."